I say this frequently but man oh man the people I work with are awesome. There are 8 of us and somehow, miraculously, we all get along. We even actively like each other. We work together all day, stressing and freaking out about various things and then after work we still want to be around each other! We make food! We play games! Nobody gossips behind each other’s back! There are no alliances!
So anyway. Thursday potluck. Probably my favorite part of the week. I hosted! For my culinary contribution, did a recreation of the Thanksgiving gratin. Love peeking in my oven at something beautiful.
Did the same thing in terms of slicing and layering, but this time I did:
2 red potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large yellow apple, cored and thinly sliced
Then drizzled with
1 T melted butter
1 T olive oil
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
1 t honey
all melted together.
Baked at 400 covered for one hour, uncovered like 15 minutes more (keep an eye on the bottom, butter will burn!)
Steve availed himself of my kitchen, but still arrived with a ridiculous amount of supplies from home (the Sriracha particularly vexed me, as I currently have TWO jars in my fridge).
Then he burnt some rice. And my pan. This was due to my electric stove, which is rubbish both because it is electric (I would like a gas stove for Christmas, please) and because it has poorly labeled burners and you can think you are turning down the rice burner to a simmer when in fact it stays on…. high. Oh dear.
But I did a pretty tidy repair job. We just call these things “Blackened” or “Cajun.’
Despite whatever kitchen mistakes he may make, Steve has the undying love of my cat, Sheila, who spent a hilariously long time lovingly rolling atop and caressing the apron Steve had been wearing. She is boy crazy, that girl.
So Steve did a fried rice creation, which is what he typically makes (we both have a long lunch break on Thursdays, after our teaching gigs in our schools are over and before the afterschool program starts and he makes me lunch and it’s AWESOME!).
This one contained okra (my <3 my <3! Note to self: buy frozen okra because it is delicious), mushrooms, and a healthy sprinkling of cilantro (Steve’s secret fried rice ingredient which is vair good. His other *secret* ingredient for fried rice is… shredded cheese. I’m okay with the fact that he omitted it this time.)
Lotsa spice, too, obvi. This is Steve.
Then he poached some eggs and though I lauded my poach pod, Steve insisted on doing it the real, manly way, in boiling water.
It was impressive.
On the fried rice it went, along with some cottage cheese and a gorgeous drizzle of Sriracha (he’s good, right?! Aren’t you going “Fried rice, cottage cheese, and a poached egg! Why didn’t I see it before?”?!)
Everyone got their own individual plate.
There was actually a misadventure involving an egg flying off of one plate and then Steve and David had a really disgusting moment scraping the egg off the floor, calling five second rule, and causing the girls to scream “OH MY GOD THROW IT AWAY.” Gross boys.
Fun crowd this week. Erin brought Michael, and he was a ridiculously good sport about listening to us gripe about work.
Oh, those pink beverages? Any eagle eyes notice the frozen strawberries on the counter with Steve’s stuff? Yes there were more daiquiri fixin’s after the luau.
The next evening. So a Friday night… you know what I want with all my heart and soul?
Ohhhhhhhhhhh yes. I had sworn to Steve that there are very few people who actually *dislike* brussels sprouts, there are just very very many people who have had brussels sprouts poorly prepared. I basically used the Austin method:
1. Coat a pan with olive oil, heat on medium/medium high.
2. Put in halfed brussels sprouts (or whole if they are very small, as some of mine were), cut side down, and let cook in the oil until they are browned and release easily from the pot. Then flip them and let them brown on the other side. (Steve’s burners are just more responsive than mine, which are sluggish and lazy, and they browned much more beautifully this time.)
3. Glaze that mother! My current formula, for a lil farmer’s market thingie of brussels, is about 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp dill, and 1 T water. That little bit of water keeps the honey from burning and lets the brussels sprouts steam just the littlest bit so they cook through (but, as Steve pointed out, remain pleasantly toothsome and devoid of mush. Well I’m paraphrasing.)
I LOVE BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Ate those Friday, bought more Saturday.
I was lazy and that’s all I brought over to Steve’s place to cook, so after the brussels and… a pleasant lull, we realized we were due for game night upstairs and quickly assembled his and hers dinners from raiding Steve’s kitchen.
Flufflicious cottage cheese oats, topped with peanut butter for protein (I’m such a slave to natural peanut butter but Steve just has Skippy and man is it delicious and spreadable).
And a few palate cleansing bites of straight up pickled ginger (which remain in Steve’s fridge after an aborted sushi making session).
More fried rice, more cottage cheese. A skillet and chopsticks are all a real man needs to eat dinner.